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August 5, 2022 was a remarkable day in the history of Owase Community of  Oka Akoko, Akoko South West Local Area of Ondo State, Nigeria which saw the convergence of illustrious Owase Sons and Daughters who have excelled in their respective chosen careers and professions

to inaugurate and to officially unveil the objectives  of Owase Community Professionals’ Forum (OCPF) to the public. The OCPF is a platform inspired and established to galvanize the arrays of Owase indigenes who are professionals to drive the human capital and socio-economic development of Owase Community. These set of professionals have deemed it fit to pull and engage their wealth of strengths, resources and capacities to drive the growth and development, building and making remarkable impacts in their community, Owase.

The occasion which took place at the Community hall was graced by HRM, Oba, Adebori Adeleye (OON), the Olubaka of Oka land and other arrays of dignitaries including High Chief Williams A. Ajakaye, the Olowase of Owase, Oka Akoko, AIG Adewole Ajakaye (Rtd.), Sir (Dr) Felix Ale, former Chief Press Secretary in Ondo State and now Director, Media and Corporate Communications,National Space Research and Development Agency, Abuja, invited guest lecturer, Dr. Hyacinth Iwu, Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science, Adekunle Ajasin, Akungba Akoko, OCPF Board of Trustees, Executive councils and members of OCPF, Community Elders, Community Age Groups and their representatives,  and youths.

Since inception OCPF has provided a veritable platform through which laudable interventions for human capital development of Owase community people are being articulated and accomplished. Through the Forum, the following interventions have been provided:

1. Repair of Community boreholes

2. Community Town Hall project execution

3. Agrochemical supplies to farmers

4. Provision of palliatives during covid-19 lock down.

THE CEREMONY

Giving a welcome address at the ceremony, the National Coordinator of the forum, OCPF, Dr. Benard Omoyeni referred to the official inauguration of the forum as a landmark and memorable event that marks an epoch of human capital and socio-economic development in Owase community and Oka land at large.

“The Owase Community Professionals’ Forum founded as a Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) is designed to be an engine room of ideas that will champion the course of Owase indigenes at local, national and international levels, creating a leverage for emancipation of our people by providing leadership, mentorship and interventions that will help our people realize their potentials”, the national coordinator said.

While speaking on the interventions envisaged by the forum, he said educational advancement of the youths in secondary, technical and tertiary institutions, job placement/employment creation and upgrading the social infrastructural development of Owase Community are among the envisioned interventions set by the forum.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Dare Owolabi, Chairman Board of Trustees and a former Director, State Security Service of Nigeria, while giving a key note address stated that development is not birth in a day instead, it is a truism that the developmental process must be envisioned, initiated and driven by great men and critical thinkers of which the inauguration of the OCPF officially symbolizes. He noted that the birth of OCPF is to create positive narrations that will foster accelerated human capital development, youth growth, care for the aged, less privileged and the vulnerable while synchronously promoting love, peace, security and communal living. Mr. Owolabi added to his speech an advocacy for determination, self denial, relentless service, genuine desire to serve rather than to be served and also called on all illustrious sons and daughters of Owase at home and diaspora to join force with the OCPF to achieve the objectives of its establishment in his conclusive note.

The OCPF inauguration was occasioned by the unveiling of OCPF logo by HRM Oba (Dr.) Yusuf Adebori Adeleye (OON). While unveiling the logo, the paramount ruler who came alongside his entourage, expressed excitement towards the developmental initiative championed by OCPF noting that it is highly commendable and impressive. In his word;

“After going through the history of Owase Community Professionals’ Forum (OCPF), I was highly inspired and that is why I am here today to unveil the logo and to inaugurate the forum. I am so happy for the initiators of this forum as they have decided to organize this initiative for the development of Owase Community and this is exactly what inspired me. I will call this Owase model and I will encourage other quarters to emulate the Owase model towards the development of Oka at large”.

The royal father proclaimed royal blessings upon every member of the forum, unveiled the logo and subsequently officially inaugurate the forum.

The inauguration event did not come to an end until a lecture was given to the youths of the community titled “BEYOND WHITE COLLAR JOBS: A FOCUS ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP”. The lecture was delivered by Prof. Benson O. Igboin who was represented by Dr. Hyacinth Iwu of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State.

In thr about 45 minutes lecture, the Guest speaker, Dr. Iwu spoke extensively on: why entrepreneurship is relevant and most desired now in Nigeria, the meaning of entrepreneurship, the likely challenges that may affect one’s desire to be an entrepreneur, overcoming challenges that comes with entrepreneurship among others. He said,

“it is no more news that the rising level of unemployment in Nigeria has become an epidemic. Scores of graduates are being churned out of our tertiary institutions on a yearly basis to face the stark reality of an unaccommodating society and the unavailability of jobs, particularly white-collar jobs”.

He added “Every year, thousands of graduates are turned out for whom there are no jobs. Nigerian streets are littered with youth hawkers, bike riders, and touts who ordinarily should have been gainfully employed in some enterprises; or would have demonstrated their skills and resourcefulness if there were enabling environments and reliable management structures on the ground”

In his conclusion note, Dr. Iwu admonished the Forum to shift its attention to Entrepreneurship development which has been identified as a key driver in economic development and a tool to solving persistent unemployment challenge among the youths. He applauded the Owase Community Professionals’ Forum for the great initiative towards finding a platform to build the youths in the community despite various challenges facing Nigeria at the moment.

HISTORY OF OCPF

With a vision to create a formidable platform to advancing the human capital development and socio-economic development of Owase Community, OCPF was inspired by God on April 14, 2019 through the pioneer and the present National Coordinator, Dr. Benard Omoyeni. The assembly of sons and daughters of Owase in Nigeria and disapora was convocated and the OCPF was birthed when the maiden online meeting was held April 28, 2019.

To drive the vision of the OCPF effectively, the forum has consequently since inception taken giant strides to becoming viable, credible and formidable body in advancing the cause of the Owase community through the passage of OCPF constitution in June 2019, election of Executive officers, June 30, 2019, courtesy visit to the Palace of Olubaka of Oka land, HRM, Kabiyesi, Oba (Dr.) Yusuf Adebori Adeleye OON and High Chief Williams Ajakaiye, the Olowase of Oka land on August 3, 2020 to share the vision of the forum with the Kabiyesi and Olowase respectively and to receive royal blessings from the duo, registration with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as a Non Governmental Organization (NGO), July 25, 2021, launching of its official website www.ocpf.com.ng and the formal unveiling of the Forum to the public at the inauguration event held August 5, 2022.

Having a strong determination to create opportunities for the people of Owase Community towards achieving their dreams and aspirations, OCPF have been engaging and intend to engage further;

– the creation of endowment fund that will be funded by the members and support from other well-meaning individuals and corporate bodies;

– partnerships with other NGOs and Donor Agencies to generate needed funds for socio-economic and infrastructural development of our community;

– introduction of Scholarship programs to support indigent students and those deserving from primary to tertiary level;

– the building of entrepreneurial and Information Communication Technology skills among our people especially youths through training, seminars and mentorship;

– the provision of medical outreach periodically;

– carrying out quarterly self-assessment/peer review and audit to review performances, are part of the strategies being adopted by Owase Community Professionals Forum to accomplish its set visions and objectives.

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